Aleksandr Lukashenko on a working trip to Minsk Oblast

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In 2013 Belarus is set to harvest more than 9 million tonnes of grain (including corn) and fully satisfy its needs in fodder grain, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko was briefed during his working trip to Minsk Oblast on 2 August.

According to Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats, more than 3 million tonnes of grain have already been cropped, with the average yield of 33 centners per hectare. The harvesting campaign has slowed down a bit over the past few days due to rainy weather. Agrarians, however, hope to complete the harvesting works in time. All necessary measures have been taken: fleet of combine harvesters has been renewed and a sufficient amount of fuel has been stocked. “There are no constraining factors. Weather is the only factor that can influence harvesting works,” the minister said. “As for the gross harvest, long winter led to a weak harvest of winter crops. However, spring crops look pretty good. Due to the fact that the spring wheat crop is going to be slightly higher than last year, we will provide gross harvest, corn included, at the level of at least 9 million tonnes,” said Leonid Zayats.

This year Belarus will have not to buy feed grain. The domestic harvest will be sufficient.

“The world calculates grain crops, spiked cereals and corn together. We should harvest over 9 million tonnes, as was last year,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

In Minsk District Aleksandr Lukashenko visited a dairy farm of the agricultural enterprise Minsky of the company OAO DorORS to get familiar with the progress in barley harvesting and with the technology of grass forage storing. The head of state was reported that this year the amount of plastic wrapped silage is nearly twice as much as last year, though this is still below the target. Next year there are plans to wrap a third of silage in plastic. For this farms are acquiring the necessary equipment. The President was assured that this form of fodder conservation contributes to the maximum preservation of forage, which is good for the productivity of livestock. "Then we should go this way: we need to store 30% of forage wrapped in plastic next year, 50% in 2015, and then 100%,” concluded the Belarusian leader.

The head of state touched upon the issues in the flax-growing industry. The President reminded about his instruction to take a closer look at the industry this year. “I would like to see whether we can produce results if control over flax growing is tight. Make it iron control and inform me what we get this autumn,” said the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that the modernization of flax factories was in progress in Belarus at the same time, the work is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Leonid Zayats said that this year’s flax harvest is supposed to be much better than last year’s, the necessary mechanisms and machines for harvesting and processing flax are available.

The President was briefed on the manufacturing and economic state of the company OAO DorORS, subordinate to the Transport and Communications Ministry. The company’s main business is agriculture, food production, trade and public catering. In 2012 the company earned over Br1.5 trillion, with net profit of Br66.8 billion. The company does not receive subsidies or sponsor assistance. Other companies that operate under the Transport and Communications Ministry are profitable as well.

Aleksandr Lukashenko visited a dairy farm of the agricultural enterprise Minsky of the company OAO DorORS. The President was informed about the fulfillment of his instructions to reconstruct dairy farms in Minsk Oblast.

According to Minsk Oblast Governor Boris Batura, 209 out of 323 farms have been reconstructed or about 65% of the target. The Governor noted that the oblast may finish reconstructing all the farms by 1 September 2013.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was shown a new farm built using the latest construction technologies and materials. It is expected the company’s annual profits from milk sales will reach Br6.7 billion.

The President was briefed that in 2013 the output growth rate of the Belarusian meat husbandry industry may reach 106% as against 2012. At present milk production is slightly behind last year’s figures, however, agricultural companies plan to secure a 103% output growth rate thanks to higher output in the next few months.

The head of state was also informed about current sales of meat and dairy products. “The market situation for milk is splendid. The volume of sales, prices, and profitability are on the rise,” noted Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats.

As for meat products, there is a demand and sales, however, there are minor difficulties concerning the sale of ready-made products. Meanwhile, the situation is expected to be mended soon.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko also visited the greenhouse complex of OAO DorORS. The head of state got familiar with the technological processes of growing vegetables and flowers, modern technologies used in greenhouses.

The complex, which occupies 34.5 hectares, produces vegetables, berries and flowers. In 2012 sale revenue per one worker totaled over Br180 billion ($60,000). The enterprise exports about 55% of its products. The profitability of the manufacture of greenhouse products stood at 40% last year. With respect to flowers this figure was 20%.

The greenhouse complex includes 24 large farm units. Flowers are grown in all Belarus’ regions and in Minsk. While several years ago the absolute majority of the needed flower products had to be imported, currently imports of flowers equal to about 20 million with 30 million grown domestically.

Aleksandr Lukashenko applauded the results and recalled that several years ago he had given an instruction concerning the development of greenhouse complexes, including the cultivation of flowers, though many were skeptical about the success back then. “This is the result of the Belarusian ‘dictatorship’,” the President noted ironically. “Moreover, this also generates profits. We should have our own capacities and develop them. Now we import 20 million and produce 30 million flowers. Gradually we will close on 50 million flowers and start exporting them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The President also got familiar with an exhibition of OAO DorORS products.